By Shana LiVIGNI
Mission statement: As a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA), empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are committed to bringing people to Jesus Christ, nurturing one another’s faith in God, assisting one another in discovering our talents and places of service in the church and the world, and providing one another with love and support.
“Presbyterians tend to be of the attitude that a faith that is not lived is not a real faith,” said Pastor Andy Wilson of La Crescenta Presbyterian Church. “We’d need to be in the world living out our faith in the relationships we have with one another, in the way that we treat strangers and the way we treat our family members, so that the teachings of Jesus have been translated into our actions and our words.”
Since its early beginnings, La Crescenta Presbyterian Church has had an active life in the community and throughout the world. From land donations to the schools of Los Angeles to missionary efforts in China, Korea, Mexico and the Dominican Republic the church has found its call to be of importance to the community and the world. La Crescenta Presbyterian Church also maintains ties to Fuller and Princeton seminaries, helping to train future leaders in the church. Today, the congregation boasts over 400 active members – including missionary teens – and continues to be an active presence in La Crescenta and the world.
“One of the distinctive things about Presbyterians is the way that we’re organized. We practice representative government so that there are leaders within the church that are elected by the congregations, we hope thru the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to lead the church,” Pastor Andy explained. “They serve on what is called the Session, which is basically the board of the church and they serve for three year terms. The Session has the oversight of the spiritual life of the church. What’s unique is that Presbyterians have the opportunity to serve at every level of government within the church. The clergy share that role with the ruling elders in the church. So Presbyterian governments tend to draw the strengths from the people we rely on. A lot of different ministry teams to do God’s work,” he continued. “We have a lot going on and I can’t possibly have my finger in all of it…I don’t even try to do that. And the reason we’re able to do that is because we regard each member in the church as a minister and we try to put them to work using their greatest strengths in the place where there’s the greatest need. That’s the policy we have.”
Andy Wilson is currently serving in his ninth year as pastor at LCPC. Before that, he served as youth pastor at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas for seven years and at Fairmont Presbyterian Church of Cleveland Heights, Ohio for seven years. He and his family also served as short term mission workers in the Dominican Republic. A native of southern California, Andy studied philosophy at Pomona College and later received a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Conn. Andy’s wife Mary is very active in the church and leads a weekly Bible study and the mid-week children’s ministry called SPARKS. They have two daughters in college, Hannah and Holly. In his spare time Andy enjoys backpacking, mountaineering, travel, photography, music and a good book.
“We really hope that when people come to worship at our church, first of all that they sense God’s presence and they’ll sense that in the way we worship and in the people with whom they worship. We hope that as they engage with the church family, they’ll be challenged in their faith to grow and to always be seeking to be obedient. We trust that the Holy Spirit is alive wherever God’s people meet at our church and every other church,” the pastor said. “When people join with the family of God, that’s a life-changing and life-transforming decision. That’s the attitude we take with everything we do with the church family. And really, what church should be is a place where people are being changed by the Holy Spirit to grow in their love for God and for one another.”
Christmas services: These services will feature live nativity animals, a Christmas carol sing-a-long and a brief Christmas message from the pastor. Nursery care will be provided. All are invited to attend. On Dec. 23 at 7:00 p.m. and Dec. 24 at 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. – the traditional Candlelight Service will feature the Cathedral Choir. In January, new Sunday service times will be at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m.
LCPC is located at 2902 Montrose Ave. in La Crescenta. For more information on their many ministries, child care services, missionary work and more, call (818) 249.6137 or visit